Photo by Jason Ruiz.

Union workers employed by the Telecare La Casa Mental Health Rehabilitation Center have reached a formal, contractual agreement with the organization today after accusations of unsafe working conditions caused a strike earlier this year.

Workers with SEIU-United Healthcare Workers West (SEIU-UHW) have been attempting over the course of the last 18-months to improve what they allege are working conditions which have caused employee assaults, patient escapes, and patient sexual assaults.

Under the new two-year agreement, a safety committee composed of workers and management will be formed in order to address what the union called “longstanding worker requests” that will improve training and safety, including the hiring of an on-site security officer and barriers around nursing stations to prevent possible altercations with patients.

Neilanie Besana, one of the nurses for the facility who spoke to the Post earlier this year in regard to her being attacked by a patient, praised the contract agreement.

“This is an important step toward improving care and security at the hospital, and we look forward to working with management to address these safety issues,” said Besana in a statement. “I became a nurse to help people, and this agreement makes me more determined than ever to provide the best care for our patients.”

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